Hu vows to safeguard media

09:12, October 10, 2009      

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President Hu Jintao waves to participants at the opening ceremony of the World Media Summit in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Behind him is Xinhua News Agency President Li Congjun. AFP

President Hu Jintao said on Friday that the government would safeguard the rights and interests of foreign news organizations, and continue to facilitate their work in the country in line with the law.

"We will continue to make government affairs public, enhance information distribution, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of foreign news organizations and reporters, and facilitate foreign media coverage of China in accordance with China's laws and regulations," Hu told the World Media Summit in Beijing.

He endorsed the foreign media's coverage of the country, saying that its growth in terms of scale, scope and range "has played an important role in helping people around the world understand the developments and changes in China".

"We sincerely hope that media organizations from around the world would make new contributions to deepen the world's understanding of China, and help develop the friendship between the Chinese people and those in the rest of the world," Hu said.

In his opening address to the three-day summit, attended by about 300 representatives from more than 170 global media houses, Hu reiterated that news organizations had an obligation to help maintain peace in the world.

Media leaders attending the summit are expected to discuss ways to deal with the challenge posed by the Internet and the global economic crisis.

Akhmad Kusaeni, deputy editor-in-chief of Indonesia's ANTARA News Agency, said Hu "knows the problem of the media Yes, the media should play a bigger role in seeking peace, tolerance and fighting climate change".

Tom Curley, president and chief executive of the Associated Press, a co-sponsor of the event, said he was pleased with Hu's statement that the Chinese government would back the international media.

"I was delighted to hear some 15 months after the Olympics that the progress will continue," he said. "Obviously, there are still some challenges and some issues, but his statement seemed quite sincere. That he joined us this morning was an important gesture as well."

In January 2007, China issued a regulation for the Olympics, which gave foreign journalists unprecedented freedom to conduct interviews. The regulation expired after the Games, but a large part of it was included in another liberal press rule, passed a year ago.

Foreign journalists now have unprecedented access to news in China, particularly events such as the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, when hundreds of reporters from across the world rushed to report from the devastated province, and the July 5 riots in Urumqi, which saw about 200 overseas journalists reporting from the spot.

Among those attending the media summit in Beijing are News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch, Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger, BBC world news director Richard Sambrook and Japan's Kyodo News Agency head Satoshi Ishikawa.

Hosted by Xinhua News Agency and co-sponsored by eight global media corporations, the summit has "cooperation, action, win-win and development" as its theme.

Xinhua, AP contributed to the story

Source:China Daily
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